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Norman M.
Norman M., Principal psychotherapist in private practice. Newspaper contributor, over 2000 satisfied clients on JA
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 2568
Experience:  ADHP(NC), DEHP(NC), ECP, UKCP Registered.
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I have been diagonosed with Anxiety after I was in hospital

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i have been diagonosed with Anxiety after I was in hospital 4 weeks ago for acute diverticulitus. ended up in A & E the next weekend with what they say is anxiety and gave me diazapan and to see my GP. which I did he gave Fluoxetine which I have been taking now for 11 days, I had a bad weekend last weekend and then picked up for a few days until Thursday night when I woke with continual panic attacks and restlessness which lasted all day yesterday and into today, my GP does not think that diazapan agrees with me, what I want to know is it normal to still feel like this, will the fluoxetine work soon, I have never suffered with anything like this before the last 4 weeks and am struggling to see and end to it.

The first thing really is to understand that this is a temporary situation, and that you will get better.

This kind of problem is best dealt with by a two-pronged approach - appropriate medication coupled with psychotherapy.

Let's look at the medication side first. Your Doc has started you off on what is a good medication, but like all anti-depressants, it takes some time to work, and 14 days is just a bit soon to expect good results. You could easily be looking at a couple of weeks yet, so don't give up.

Secondly, if he thinks that diazepam is not for you, ask him what other anti-anxiety drugs he might prescribe, because there are several available.

Medication is a good start - it is great at dealing with symptoms, but does not get down to root causes, so I am going to suggest that you ask your Doc about a very effective form of psychotherapy which is generally available on the NHS. It's called Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.

CBT is based on the fact that what we think in any given situation generates beliefs about, and reactions to that situation, and also causes the behaviour and feelings which flow from those beliefs and reactions.

These ‘automatic thoughts’ are so fast that generally, we are unaware that we have even had them. We call them ANTS (automatic negative thoughts) for short.

If the pattern of thinking we use, or our beliefs about our situation are even slightly distorted,

the resulting emotions and actions that flow from them can be extremely negative and unhelpful. The object of CBT is to identify these ‘automatic thoughts’ then to re-adjust our thoughts and beliefs so that they are entirely realistic and correspond to the realities of our lives, and that therefore, the resulting emotions, feelings and actions we have will be more useful and helpful.

Cognitive therapists do not usually interpret or seek for unconscious motivations but bring cognitions and beliefs into the current focus of attention and through guided discovery encourage clients to gently re-evaluate their thinking.

Therapy is not seen as something “done to” the client. CBT is not about trying to prove a client wrong and the therapist right, or getting into unhelpful debates. Through collaboration, questioning and re-evaluating their views, clients come to see for themselves that there are alternatives and that they can change.

Clients try things out in between therapy sessions, putting what has been learned into practice, learning how therapy translates into real life improvement.

Please visit this website for much more detailed information on CBT:

If you cannot afford to see a therapist, there are good free CBT based self-help resources here:

Also, there is a book called ”Feeling good - the new mood therapy” by Dr. David Burns. It has a hand book which gives you practical exercises to work through and further instructions on how to better use CBT. I really do recommend it.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Workbook for Dummies By Rhena Branch, Rob Willson is also pretty good.

Best wishes, NormanM

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Thank you for that reply and that it should only be temporary, it is only 11 days since I started the Fluoxetiene and this is the second episode of being useless and not beeing able to settle since i started them.

I did speak to my doctor yesterday as I was feeling so desperate and asked about other anxiety pills but he did not think it was the way to go with me although he did give me some sleeping pills.

because i am not normally this sort of person it is difficult for me to deal with and I just need reassurance that I will be normal again, Wednesday I did manage to go into work and then Thursday had a lovely day at home and really felt I was on the mend so why when I went to bed did it all start again

You WILL be fine, I'm sure. Until your medication really kicks in, and you start on some therapy, it's quite likely that you will experience episodes of panic and anxiety. It often happens when you are just trying to get to sleep or when you are waking up, because your brain is no longer pre-occupied with what has happened during the day.

As your treatment programme progresses, you should find that they reduce both in frequency and intensity, until you are better again.

Your positive experience on Wednesday/Thursday just confirms that you CAN get better. Stick with the programme, and relax! You'll be fine soon.
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